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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Whims 2014

At the end of the summer, I dragged DH with me up to the Deep Creek Lake in Maryland and hopped into it twice. Did not swim for more than 15 minutes each time, as it was quite cold. Whenever I submerged my head into the murky lake water, the cold shocked it like an icy clamp. So I turned over and floated on my back, with the backhalf of the head in water. It was all right, but unlike the rosy, filtered memory of that one other time when I had swam in a lake nearly three decades ago. It had been unbearably hot that summer and the water had been comfortably warm. My mother took me on a retreat of sort sponsored by her employer. I spent the idle days with a couple of her colleagues' daughters. There was a translation of Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales collection lying around, which I devoured in a couple of days.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I again dragged DH (poor Mr. S) with me up to New York City and skated at the Wollman Rink in Central Park. It is smaller than one would infer from photographs, but I liked it nevertheless. The vegetation growing by the boards and the rocks and trees of the park surrounding the ice are an odd contrast to the skyscrapers in the background. The ice is of an irregular shape, suggesting that it used to be a pond on which people skated. Incidentally (or perhaps logically), this fancy was also related to a memory from childhood -- the movie "Portrait of Jennie" starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotton (based on a novella by Robert Nathan). A painter met a strange girl in Central Park one winter, and they skated on the ice rink. In the movie the park was deserted, leaving only the two of them in the world.

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